Author: Patrick J. Kiger
Patrick J. Kiger is a Takoma Park, Maryland–based freelance writer who blogs about futurism and technology for the Science Channel.
Articles by Patrick J. Kiger
- Smart Cities Promise a New Way of Living
Published on June 12, 2017 in Development
Entirely new cities are emerging, grounded in cutting-edge technology. Sensor-laden, data-driven, and internet-connected, these urban prototypes are the testing grounds for the future.
- The Security Challenge: Building around 21st-Century Threats
Published on February 13, 2017 in Planning & Design
The Peterson Companies’ new National Harbor complex development attracts 10 million people each year, but it is likely that few will notice all the measures Peterson has put in place for their protection, which are both well concealed and elaborate.
- The Tenant Energy Revolution Starts Here
Published on December 12, 2016 in Sustainability
The ULI Tenant Energy Optimization Program may revolutionize the design of office space by turning energy efficiency into a way to generate economic returns. Here is what it could take to make it the new real estate industry standard.
- Bringing a Mixed-Use Strategy to Fading Industrial, Retail, and Hotel Properties
Published on November 22, 2016 in Development
At a panel on mixed-use strategy at ULI’s 2016 Fall Meeting in Dallas, participants described what might seem like three dissimilar projects. But, as the panelists discussed, each project offered a city a way to turn blighted areas into engines of revitalization and economic stimulus, and create profits for their owners and tenants as well.
- Integrating 3-D Printing for Better Design and Cheaper Construction
Published on November 16, 2016 in Planning & Design
By using 3-D printers to build lightweight but strong plastic frameworks for conventional building materials such as concrete, builders may soon be able to create complex structures with unorthodox shapes and contours that would be difficult or even impossible with today’s construction methods, said a speaker at the ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas. And better yet, they will be able to fashion intricate, customized interiors and exteriors at no additional cost.
- Placemaking for Mid-Sized Cities: Rebuilding Waterfront Parks and “Bourbonism”
Published on October 31, 2016 in Planning & Design
For midsized U.S. cities to compete successfully in the 21st-century global marketplace, it is crucial for governments to think beyond the tired strategy of luring away employers from other locales. Instead, city officials need to focus on land use and placemaking as ways to attract talent, generate new business opportunities, and consolidate economic and community development to enhance their brands, according to speakers at ULI’s 2016 Fall Meeting in Dallas.
- ULI Tenant Energy Optimization Program Launched
Published on October 27, 2016 in Sustainability
A new ULI program that helps office tenants design and manage their spaces to reduce energy consumption could help the real estate industry reduce emissions that are driving climate change. But at the program’s rollout at ULI’s 2016 Fall Meeting in Dallas, panelists said that the new ULI Tenant Energy Optimization Program is likely to have a more far-reaching impact than that of many previous environmental initiatives because it offers a compelling, well-documented business case that energy efficiency can generate a lucrative return on investment.
- Disruptive Technologies and Their Impact on Property Values
Published on October 27, 2016 in Market Trends
In the near future, the real estate sector is likely to be disrupted by a host of technological advances ranging from artificial intelligence, driverless vehicles and the “internet of things,” to virtual reality (VR) applications that enable people thousands of miles apart to interact as if they were in the same room, according to a panel of experts at the 2016 ULI Fall Meeting in Dallas.
- Evolution of an Aerotropolis
Published on October 27, 2016 in Development
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport is the most successful American template for how a major airport can become a core for real estate development and economic growth. Now, planning is taking it to a higher altitude.
- Tenant Power: Learning from the Empire State Building’s Retrofit
Published on October 27, 2016 in Sustainability
In the late 2000s, Anthony E. Malkin, chairman and chief executive of Empire State Realty Trust, joined forces with a coalition of businesses and environmental organizations to launch an ambitious $20 million retrofit of the Empire State Building with the aim of reducing the iconic New York City office tower’s energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by more than one-third.
- Real Estate Faces Cyber Threats on Several Fronts
Published on October 26, 2016 in Planning & Design
The real estate sector should prepare for a rapidly escalating onslaught of online attacks by hackers employed by organized crime.
- Buy the Seaside
Published on July 14, 2016 in Development
Developers around the world are enhancing their resorts with artificial water features, ranging from rivers to ski slopes. But coming up with unique attractions is an increasing challenge.
- The Power of Crowdfunding in Real Estate
Published on April 29, 2016 in Capital Markets
Since Congress legalized crowdfunding for real estate projects in 2012, the internet-based financing source has grown dramatically, from $396.4 million in 2013 to $2.5 billion in 2015, according to the Los Angeles–based research and advisory firm Massolutions.
- In an Industry Known for Long Timeframes, Working with the “Instant Gratification” Economy
Published on April 29, 2016 in Market Trends
When Americans are increasingly growing accustomed to ordering paper towels on Amazon Prime instead of going to Costco and summoning Uber rides on their phones rather than hailing cabs, on-demand services and instant gratification are quickly becoming the new normal.
- Distinguishing Signal from Noise as Use of Big Data Grows
Published on April 26, 2016 in Development
While the use of big data is increasing in many industries, Nate Silver, founder and editor-in-chief of FiveThirtyEight, told attendees at the recent ULI Spring Meeting, “When you have more data, you have more opportunities to be wrong.”
- West Philadelphia’s Success Story Shows Economic Power of Innovation
Published on April 25, 2016 in Development
Over the past half-century, west Philadelphia’s University City district—located across the Schuylkill River from Center City—has morphed from a blighted urban neighborhood into a thriving mixed-use hub for higher education, health care, and tech startups. In the process, it has become a template for other old industrial cities striving to remake themselves, said panelists speaking at the ULI Spring Meeting.
- Vanguard’s McNabb Sees “Continued Muted Growth” in U.S. Economy
Published on April 22, 2016 in Capital Markets
The U.S. economy remains in good shape with steady, if unspectacular, growth, the head of one of the world’s largest investment management companies said at the opening of the general session at ULI’s Spring Meeting in Philadelphia.
- Multimodal Transit Dials Down the Need for Cars in Cities
Published on March 28, 2016 in Infrastructure
Local and regional transportation planners often consider two distinct options—people driving to and from work, or people using mass transit. But the rise of shared transportation modes is rapidly changing that by creating new options for commuters, according to panelists at a recent conference sponsored by the Eno Center for Transportation, a Washington-based nonprofit charitable foundation seeking improvement in transportation and its public and private leadership.
- Comcast Innovation and Technology Center: Philadelphia’s Tower of Tech Power
Published on March 28, 2016 in Planning & Design
The new Comcast Innovation and Technology Center will be more than just a signature skyscraper. Its vertical version of Silicon Valley could reshape how people think about tech campuses.
- Keeping Up: When Technological Change Begets More, Faster Change
Published on January 04, 2016 in Development
Advances such as 3-D printing, robotics, and big data promise to transform the way people work and live—and how buildings are built. Here is a look at the next wave of the urban environment, and how to be prepared for it.
- Catching the Next Wave of Disruptive Real Estate Technology
Published on November 02, 2015 in Market Trends
In the coming years, it will be possible to access mountains of aggregated market data and do real-time valuations for industrial, retail, and office properties; and buildings will be traded online the way that stocks are traded now. That is the world envisioned by a panel of real estate information technology providers at ULI’s 2015 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, and they expect to see it happening in the next few years.
- What Tech Tenants Want: Roof Decks?
Published on November 02, 2015 in Market Trends
Developers who are trying to fill the ever-expanding demands of technology companies have learned a few things about their clients: They want a place to park their bikes; they like bringing their dogs to work; and, above all, they love rooftop decks.
- Are the “Smartest” Buildings Often the Simplest?
Published on October 26, 2015 in Planning & Design
At the final session of ULI’s 2015 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, veteran futurist Paul Saffo advised architects and developers to prepare for technological change by remaining as flexible as they can. Saffo, a consulting associate professor at Stanford University and chairman of the futures track at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, cautioned against betting too heavily on assumptions about what technology will predominate in the near future, and when it will take hold.
- Wells Fargo, Prologis CEOs Not Worried about Chinese Slowdown
Published on October 26, 2015 in Capital Markets
In a question-and-answer session at ULI’s 2015 Fall Meeting in San Francisco, John G. Stumpf, chairman, president, and CEO of Wells Fargo & Company, and Prologis chairman and CEO Hamid R. Moghadam both indicated that China’s recent economic deceleration is not as big of a worry as it might seem to jittery Wall Street investors.
- Why Real Estate Must Adapt to Fast-Changing Technology
Published on October 19, 2015 in Market Trends
The technology sector, which tends to advance rapidly in game-changing shifts, has long provided a glaring contrast to the real estate industry, which is based on long-lived assets and evolves slowly. But that dichotomy will soon fade, according to a panel of real estate and tech leaders at ULI’s Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
- Future Holds Both Rapid Change and Steady Progress
Published on October 12, 2015 in Market Trends
The benefits of globalism have been dramatic and widespread, and gains in artificial intelligence and other technologies will arrive at an exponential pace, say two noted futurists speaking at the ULI Fall Meeting.
- Airbnb Allows Cities to Both Shrink and Swell, Says CEO Chesky
Published on October 07, 2015 in Market Trends
Speaking at the ULI Fall Meeting in San Francisco, Airbnb cofounder Brian Chesky said he doesn't see the company as a direct competitor to hotels, since its lodging shares often are located in residential neighborhoods rather than the downtown locations that hotels favor.
- Imagining the Driverless City
Published on October 02, 2015 in Infrastructure
Robotic vehicles, drones, and other cutting-edge technological advances could soon reshape urban land use as radically as the automobile once did. Here are some leaders' thoughts on how the future might look.
- From Clicks to Bricks: L.L.Bean’s Embrace of Omnichannel Retail
Published on July 20, 2015 in Market Trends
Not long ago, it seemed as if e-commerce would make brick-and-mortar retail as obsolete as rotary telephones. Instead, catalog and web retailer L.L.Bean is leading a wave of businesses that are building physical storefronts to drive their online trade.
- Taking Calculated Risks on Game-Changing Ideas
Published on May 19, 2015 in Development
At the closing session of the 2015 ULI Spring Meeting in Houston, two local icons—landmark real estate developer Gerald D. Hines and James A. Baker III, who served in three presidential administrations and was secretary of state under President George H.W. Bush—talked about leadership and perhaps its most crucial ingredient: the willingness to take bold risks and run with game-changing ideas.
- Financing among Several Challenges for Ideal Mixed-Use Projects
Published on May 19, 2015 in Planning & Design
Mixed-use projects have the potential to transform urban areas and create long-term value. But as members of a panel at the 2015 ULI Spring Meeting in Houston explained, it is a lot trickier than it might seem to create a successful synergy of uses.
- Mayors Talk about Role of Technology, Uber in Smarter Cities
Published on May 15, 2015 in Market Trends
In a discussion between four mayors and former mayors including Seattle, Pittsburgh, Omaha, and South Bay, Florida, participants identified multiple trends that pose difficult challenges for city governments—but which also potentially provide opportunities.
- Pairing Business Discipline with Philanthropy in Houston
Published on May 14, 2015 in Sustainability
Public/private partnerships have helped drive Houston’s transformation in recent years. But in order for that formula to succeed, energy industry entrepreneur and civic philanthropist Richard "Rich" Kinder warns that it is essential for private donors to show the same sort of toughness and financial savvy that helped them make their business fortunes.
- The City with (Almost) No Limits
Published on April 20, 2015 in Planning & Design
As the only major U.S. city without formal zoning, Houston has a reputation as a freewheeling place where anything goes. But in truth, a complex patchwork of public and private regulation has evolved to impose order.
- Moving to Where the Price Is Right
Published on February 09, 2015 in Market Trends
Millennials have flocked to city life, changing neighborhoods as they go. What happens when their needs—and tastes—mature?
- How Virtual Reality and Other Technologies Will Disrupt Real Estate
Published on November 04, 2014 in Market Trends
While commercial real estate has occasionally lagged behind other business sectors in use of emerging technologies such as three-dimensional virtual reality environments and real-time data mining, panelists at the ULI Fall Meeting said such advances promise to reshape how developers and property managers function.
- Open Data’s Impact as Yet Untapped by Real Estate Industry
Published on November 03, 2014 in Market Trends
Aggregation and analysis of open data—that is, information that is freely available via the internet—are revolutionizing fields such as science and government, said panelists at the ULI Fall Meeting, but it is still anathema to many in the real estate industry.
- Challenges and Opportunities for Crowdfunding
Published on October 28, 2014 in Capital Markets
The nascent, fast-growing phenomenon of crowdfunding in real estate financing hasn’t yet scratched the surface of its potential, according to participants in a panel at ULI’s 2014 Fall Meeting in New York City.
- Isaacson Says Digital Revolution Brings Urban Renaissance
Published on October 24, 2014 in Market Trends
In an address that concluded this year’s ULI Fall Meeting in New York City, author and journalist Walter Isaacson extolled the importance of the urban built space in fostering creativity and technological progress.
- The New Volatility of Water Supply
Published on October 24, 2014 in Sustainability
Escalating climate change poses a paradoxical dilemma when it comes to water, according to speakers in a panel on the subject at the 2014 ULI Fall Meeting in New York City.
- U.S. Prospects Are Bright, Says Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase
Published on October 22, 2014 in Capital Markets
In an appearance at the 2014 ULI Fall Meeting in New York City, the head of the nation’s biggest bank talked about resilience—both the U.S. economy’s and his own, in the face of a bout with cancer.
- Shaping the Future through the Built Environment
Published on October 22, 2014 in Market Trends
Panelists at the opening session of the 2014 ULI Fall Meeting predicted that the next wave of change has the potential to reverse troubling current trends, from climate change and economic inequality to the personal isolation caused by overuse of electronic gadgetry.
- Brooklyn Rebound
Published on October 13, 2014 in Development
Once gritty industrial zones in the shadow of Manhattan, the Brooklyn neighborhoods of DUMBO and Williamsburg have morphed into the center of knowledge-economy hipness.
- Hudson Yards Rises above the Rails
Published on October 06, 2014 in Planning & Design
At Manhattan’s Hudson Yards, a cluster of skyscrapers perched on a billion-dollar steel platform above a working rail yard will be tied together in its own energy-saving microgrid, with sensors collecting mountains of data to optimize daily life.
- Rebuilding by Design: The Art of Resilience
Published on August 25, 2014 in Sustainability
After Superstorm Sandy ravaged the New York Metropolitan Area, an innovative federal program challenged design teams to weave resilience into the urban landscape.
- How Coworking is Transforming the Office
Published on June 02, 2014 in Planning & Design
Coworking, in which entrepreneurs, startups, and even corporate small teams interact in an open office, is growing exponentially. In the process, it may transform land use.
- How Vancouver Invented Itself
Published on February 14, 2014 in Planning & Design
"Vancouverism" is synonymous with tower-podium architecture, green space, and breathtaking views. But the city's development process is sometimes overlooked.
- Chicago’s Novel Infrastructure Trust
Published on October 21, 2013 in Infrastructure
"The City That Works" is embarking on a big goal: Raising $1.7 billion in private capital to pay for desperately needed infrastructure improvements-and generating a financial return for investors.
- Crowdfunding a New Urban Identity
Published on August 14, 2013 in Market Trends
In April, 130,000 people flocked to the first One Spark festival in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, to hear indie rock bands, watch fire dancers, admire multimedia art installations, and, most important, listen to entrepreneurs’ pitches for more than 400 projects in search of seed money.
- Five Lessons From One Spark: How to Stage a Crowdfunding Festival
Published on August 14, 2013 in Market Trends
Elton Rivas, One Spark cofounder, and Peter S. Rummell, one of the festival’s major backers and immediate past chairman of ULI, offer some insights into how they created the event and how they might improve the model.
- Imagining Land Use in 2063
Published on April 22, 2013 in Planning & Design
How different will land use be in 50 years? While some futurists think suburban tract house and the shopping mall will have gone the way of the dinosaurs, others envision a strikingly different scenario, in which people increasingly will forsake the cities for the rural countryside living in updated, technologically advanced, and economically self-sufficient versions of the 19th-century village.